Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr. back on practice court after having cast removed
By Bill Oram
LOS ANGELES — The night Larry Nance Jr. broke his hand, he sat in front of his locker in Portland, imagining the worst.
Little more than two weeks later, he appears to be on the cusp of a return to the court.
“My spirits are much higher for sure,” said Nance, whose cast was removed on Nov. 14, 11 days after he underwent surgery to repair a fractured second metacarpal in his left hand.
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The Lakers gave a four-to-six week timeline for Nance, which the power forward now says was “extremely overly-cautious.”
He said he is back to doing everything with his injured hand except “holding heavy dumbbells” and “hanging from the rim.”
“I didn’t think he’d be shooting and doing all this stuff already after breaking his hand,” Luke Walton said.
The Lakers have not adjusted their timeline. The Lakers have games Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday before a four-day break over Thanksgiving.
The question facing Walton is whether Nance resumes his role as a starter or if rookie Kyle Kuzma has won that spot in Nance’s absence. Before Friday, Kuzma was averaging 16.1 points and 9.1 rebounds as a starter.
“Kyle’s played great and he’s the starter until Larry comes back,” Walton said, “and then we’ll re-evaluate and discuss what we should do.”
Nance has maintained he is not concerned with whether he starts or comes off the bench.
“If Kuz is who they think will give us best chance to win,” he said, “then Kuz it is.”
If you think Lonzo Ball has faced criticism as a rookie, imagine if the Lakers had drafted Josh Jackson instead.
It could have happened, […]